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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:43 pm 
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This may interest some of the Sheffield folk, and in light of the thread about architecture, it may be worth thinking about.

For those that don't know ecclesall Woods is a fairly large tract of woodland on the SW side of the city, and quite significantly is true ancient woodland- i.e. a vestige of the 'original' wood that covered much of the land before our need for fuel and farming / settlement land grew at too great a rate and it disappeared. A very beautiful area which has significance for wildlife and contains a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

The planning for development of the old sawmill site is at consultation stage and I visited the newly built oak framed structure on the site this weekend, to see the plans to include a number of spaces for craftspeople to work and have gallery space, some educational type facilities for field trips, visitors information about the woods, sales areas for logs and other stuff derived from the site etc. and it all looked quite promising.

I was disappointed to see mention of a cafe however, and some horrible 'treetop walkways' - great pier like structures jutting out into the wood itself.

I'm not naive enough to think that such a fine site will manage itself, and not everyone is fortunate enough, as I have was, to have had the chance to explore at first hand and appreciate the wildlife etc. in the woods as a kid and subsequently with my own kids, but I really thought that these out of place structures, and a cafe, were looking a bit like the thin end of the wedge.

Giving people access to the woods and the means to enjoy them is great, but when the car park is full of coach parties spending two hours in the cafe and then wandering ten yards into the edge of the wood dropping litter and what have you, whilst no - one else can get a look in the car park or enjoy the peace and emptiness, it just seems a bit theme park ish and unnecessary...

Here's a: http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/out--about/parks-woodlands--countryside/trees--woodlands/ecclesall-woods]Link


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:32 pm 
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me and my family enjoy walking there regularly i hope that this development is going to be respectful of the peace people get there,when my Dad was dying i took him there in his wheelchair a couple of times as its right next to St Lukes he and i got so much out of it,there's a bird sanctuary there and the charcoal or woodcutters grave is there too which is an interesting piece of local history

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its the site of a headstone dedicated to George Yardley,he burned to death in his cottage in the woods and his friends put up this headstone its a mystery as its so ancient,i love this place.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:25 pm 
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Location: Somewhere over the Snake Pass...
We used to go there a lot when I was a kid - collecting chestnuts in October, discovering freshly dropped conkers, doing the round walk from Endcliffe Park...

Happy days. Let's hope they show the place some respect.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:26 pm 
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I grew up just opposite the woods (posh bird me :wink:) and spent hours and hours playing in them as a kid. Really hope the sawmill upgrade doesn't take too much of the free space away, it would really risk the atmosphere of the place as you say underground.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:59 pm 
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fagan's lass wrote:
I grew up just opposite the woods (posh bird me :wink:) and spent hours and hours playing in them as a kid. Really hope the sawmill upgrade doesn't take too much of the free space away, it would really risk the atmosphere of the place as you say underground.


Me too, I was still wandering about in them in my late teens, instead of getting lashed on a corner like my contemporaries.

I don't think the development will eat into the woodland space, so to speak, but from the bridleway running from the bottom bit of Abbey lane and round (i.e. next to the sawmill) it will be massively intrusive. In fact now I come to think of it, the sawmill and all the blue and green site cabins are blatantly visible and I can't ever remember them from a few years ago.

I'm not saying the development is necessarily a bad thing, just the thin end of what is quite possibly a big wedge....


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